John Elwood & Robin Elwood | John Elwood and Robin Elwood

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Album Links
Lindsay Street website: some John and Robin content. John Elwood CD 'Retrospective' Robin's other band, Lindsay Street And, of course, up-to-the-minute facebook!

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United States - Washington

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Folk: Appalachian Folk World: Celtic Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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John Elwood and Robin Elwood

by John Elwood & Robin Elwood

Father and Son acoustic folk music from Washington State. Mountain Dulcimer, Fingerstyle Guitar, Harmony, and a handful of musical guests bring 8 songs to vivid life.
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Canadeeio
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
5:19 $0.99
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2. Princess Royal
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
3:04 $0.99
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3. Diamond Jo
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
2:30 $0.99
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4. Little Black Bull (feat. Ruth Steele)
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
5:44 $0.99
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5. Child On Earth
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
4:27 $0.99
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6. Waterbound (feat. Sally Burkhart)
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
1:49 $0.99
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7. Matty Groves (feat. Sally Burkhart & Matthew Zook)
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
3:54 $0.99
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8. Heir to an Air
John Elwood & Robin Elwood
4:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
John Elwood is a luthier (building Mountain Dulcimers and mandolin-family instruments) and musician living in rural Whitman County in Eastern Washington. With his wife, Sally Burkhart, he has been performing traditional music from the British Isles and Appalachia since the early 1970s. His most recent album, Retrospective, is available through CDBaby and at their shows.

His son, Robin Elwood, is a multi-instrumentalist in the Celtic group Lindsay Street of Bellingham, Wa, where he lives with his family. Growing up around folk music, it's no surprise that he has a fondness for these songs. His insistence on playing the accordion so loudly in public, however, is totally random. It's at a minimum, however, on this duo album, where his guitar playing predominates.

Together, they have recorded an album of intricate guitar/dulcimer tunes and songs. Recorded live over a handful of sessions in 2014, the 8 songs run the range from Appalachian murder ballads to rippling dance music.


A handful of musical guests round out the music: John's partner Sally sings with him on Waterbound, a song they have performed for decades. Family member Ruth Steele provides Bass Clarinet on Little Black Bull, and local everything-whiz Matthew Zook brings the percussion on Matty Groves.

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Reviews


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Robin Elwood

Pacific Northwest Folklore Society review by Stewart Hendrickson: Nov '14
Trans-generational music performed by father and son. This delightful CD presents some old songs not often heard, an original song, and a couple of instrumental tunes. John Elwood has been building mountain dulcimers in rural eastern Washington for forty years and is a masterful player of that instrument. His son Robin, a musician in Bellingham, Washington, grew up with traditional music played with his parents at home. The sounds of the dulcimer and guitar and a few other instruments, along with harmonious voices make for some very nice listening.

The CD begins with Canadeeio, a traditional Irish/Canadian ballad going back perhaps to the 18th century. It tells the story of girl who follows her sailor boy as a stow-away aboard a sailing ship. She is soon discovered and ends up in Canada married to the ship’s captain. It is nicely accompanied by dulcimer, guitar and harmonica. This is followed by an often-played tune, Princess Royal, said to be composed by the great Irish harper O’Carolan in about 1725. It consists of some well-played counterpoint between dulcimer and guitar – a delightful tune.

Next are a couple of jaunty songs, beginning with Diamond Joe, a Stephen Foster song about a river steamboat. A fun song, well-sung by John, with the dulcimer sounding like an old-time banjo. This is followed by my favorite song on the album, Little Black Bull. I immediately wanted to learn it. This song, collected by Carl Sandburg in Illinois, is also known as Hoosen Johnny. “Lawyers sat around the wood stoves of the taverns and hotels of the Eighth Circuit in Illinois and sang this on many a winter night. Lincoln heard it often.” The addition of a bass clarinet (played by Ruth Steele) to the accompaniment gives it a whimsical quality. The rhythmic nature of this song makes one want to join in.

Child on Earth by John Elwood is a well-crafted song reminiscent of the ‘60s folk revival. Its water theme is continued with Waterbound, a traditional song from southern Appalachia. Joined by the voice of John’s wife, Sally Burkhart, this is a fine song for group singing. This is followed by the traditional Child ballad, Matty Groves, with a nice dulcimer and guitar accompaniment, and percussion by Matt Zook.

The album concludes with an original Celtic-style instrumental piece, Heir to an Air, composed by Robin's bandmate Jean Rogers, of the Bellingham group Lindsay Street. This is a fitting and comforting end to a fine collection of songs and tunes. I love the combination of dulcimer and guitar playing counterpoint in this tune.

Only a total of eight songs and tunes, this CD is full of some pleasant musical surprises. These aren’t the usual songs and tunes one usually hears, but a collection lovingly put together from years of music played by a family through a couple of generations. Highly recommended.

Stewart Hendrickson
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